December 8th, 2009
AS Politics students got a closer look at the country’s political system when they headed to Westminster. The day started with a viewing of the all-new Supreme Court, the most recent constitutional change from the Labour government. During the morning we were given a guided tour around the Palace of Westminster, including both the Commons’ and Lords’ chambers.
Conservative MP for St Albans, Anne Main, gave the first talk, explaining the role and significance of a backbench MP. Following lunch in the Westminster Hall cafeteria, the students were given a talk from Lord Tyler of Linkinhorne, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on Constitutional Affairs. His analysis of House of Lords reform was excellent. They then headed to Questions in the Lords, where Lord Pearson (new UKIP leader), Lord Kinnock (former Labour Leader) and Lord Winston (Geneticist) were in attendance.
The penultimate talk was given by Conservative MP Peter Lilley on reform in the House of Commons. The day ended with a talk from Matthew Bramwell, an ex-student of St Albans school and once prefect and a member of the CCF. He told us how Parliament functions behind the scenes and talked about his work as a parliamentary researcher. Many thanks to Matthew for helping to organise the day.
Report by Richard Zetter
December 7th, 2009
Students from Santander were given a taste of English life when they visited St Albans on their exchange visit. Done in conjunction with St Albans High School for Girls, the exchange had the largest numbers ever this year. In fact, many of the boys who took part in last year’s Fifth form Exchange enjoyed it so much that they decided to repeat the experience again this year, many pairing up with the same partners from the previous year.
During their time here, and despite mixed weather conditions, the Spanish party had a packed week of trips and visits including Oxford, London, Windsor and more locally, the attractions of St Albans. The Spanish pupils greatly appreciated a chance to taste the English way of life at school and at the homes of their welcoming host families. As a few tears were shed and big pats on shoulders were given prior to departure, it was clear the week was a success. The St Albans pupils can now warmly look forward to their return trip at the end of March.
December 3rd, 2009
L6th Economics students learnt about the recession, its causes and effects at a series of lectures at City Temple on the Holborn Viaduct. The speakers included Tim Harford, the author of, The Undercover Economist, who provided an eye opening talk about the misuse of statistics and the economics principles behind Christmas. The next speaker was the highlight of the day, The Hon. Vince Cable MP. The Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesman provided us with an illuminating insight into the reasons why the Credit Crunch occurred. The talk helped the pupils use their recently acquired knowledge in order to help them develop a deeper understanding of current events. They were also treated to other lectures about subjects such as the euro and the economics of the environment.
Report by Tim Smith